In my quest to write what’s on my mind and going on in my life… I bring you this blog post.
Today, a 70’s USA icon bit the dust, made that final jump, rode off into the sunset… Evel Knivel died. Why is this relevant to me and my life? I was 5 years old in 1976, the bi-centenial birthday of these here United States, and Evel was at his height. Remember drive in movies? AMC Gremlins? Yeah, that was part of my childhood. Saturday nights my mom, brother and I would go to the local drive-in in our Gremlin to watch movies like Godzilla reruns (where they reruns back then?) or Herbie Rides Again, and in lieu of 20 minutes of pre-movie commercials, you got mini movies. Evel’s daring jumps were a popular show before the show. My younger brother was completely infatuated with Evel’s seemingly riskless jumps and cocky attitude. We would go home after the movie, all jazzed up on crappy popcorn and sodas my mom would sneak in, and try to reproduce the daring stunts we saw on the big screen. Yeah, who says TV/movies aren’t a bad influence for kids? Roadrunner anyone…
One such night, my brother dares me to jump off my mom’s bed onto a crib mattress we pulled out from underneath. First of all, I’d like to note that *I* am the older sibling by 14 months, what the hell inspired me to take orders from him is beyond me. So I climb up on the bed and jump onto the mattress. He follows. Let’s make it harder he says. We pretend to blindfold ourselves and make the jump just like Evel. Next dare, blindfolder and spin around during the jump. Ok, I do it. SUCKER. Little bastard pulls the mattress out from under me and I land on the wooden floor. HARD. So next thing I know I’m waking up on the floor in a pool of blood with my leg swelling up. He’s in the other room yelling something to my mom about killing me. Broken ankle, knee and hip, along with a nasty crack to the head (hence all the blood). I hobbled around all freaking season with a hip-to-foot cast while that little snot tried to kick out my crutches.
Decades later, it makes me smile to think that Evel Knivel in some way majorly shaped my childhood, and adult life for that matter. As a teen I was a competitive skater and my hip and knee issues slowed me up. I wound up with two c-sections because my hips never did heal correctly. I’ve also had two knee surgeries and probably will need another one sometime before I’m 45. Yeah, uh, Evel, thanks for all that! The memories of drive-in movies in the back of my mom’s orange Gremlin watching a crazy man jump a motocycle in a glittered red/white/blue jumpsuit will never leave me.
[tags]Evel Knievel, EvelKnievel[/tags]